Friday, February 5, 2010

mass effect 2 review and general rant about video games, life wait its mainly about video games

Some people said they liked my brutal legend "review", so how do you like this eh!? eh!!?? you fuckers!!
Well I already said there was no point writing a "review" of mass effect 2 but what the hell! I was inspired to just now,Y'see I was just quietly sitting there contemplating how great mass effect 2 is, I was thinking "its soo cool! its a great combination of lots and lot and lots of talking and then lots of shooting stuff properly!! also theres tonnes of cool sci-fi crap thrown in"...and then I realized.. y'know what thats like?.... Deus-ex!!!! Mass effect 2 is like Deus-Ex!!! Though lets not go crazy, its like deus-ex made by bioware (so a lot of the talking is about peoples emotions (not cool references to 18th century philosophers and such) and you MUST go and defeat the GIANT EEEVIL that is threatening the galaxy, and most of the "sci-fi" stuff is more star-trek style sci-fi (ie. fantasy, but all shiny and with lasers!) also theres basically no exploring, but still, mass effect 2 is probably the closest anyones come to deus-ex yet! Actually while I'm there, what is wrong with game makers!? Its like these big hollywood blockbuster film makers, they get all the money, actors, special effects etc. thay want, and then the film is totally shit! the plot doesnt even actually make sense? how can they do that!? how can thay set out to make something thats straightforward and cool (they're not trying to get the palm D'or or anything here) and fuck it up so badly!? what is wrong with them!!? anyway, what is wrong with game makers!? I remember when I played deus-ex first I hadnt played any video games in a few years (I was in the 1st few years of college then and I was too busy being cool) I was really really pleased with it. I thought, "great! video games have come on a lot in the past few years, I look forward to playing more!" anyway the next game I played was "red faction" I was really pumped about it, I thought it'll be like deus-ex but on mars!! how cool will that be!!?.. and then it wasnt like that at all (if you dont know it was completely shit!!) it was just running around shooting stuff (yes, you could blow up walls) it was like wolfenstein 3d again! what happened!? where was the dialogue, exploration, interesting plot, choices, did no-one learn from deus-ex?? This trend of sticking in the past is totally continuing today tho, look at all the most popular games like halo, call of duty, killzone etc. they are all not that much different from wolfenstein. Maybe intelligent games like deus-ex dont sell, actually I just checked, it didnt, neither did grim fandango, so in conclusion.. oh wait, I dont need a conclusion, this is meant to be a review of mass effect 2, here are the salient points.
Actual mass effect 2 review starts here.
mass effect 1 was supposed to be a seamless fusion of rpg and 3rd person shooter with cover and squad wasnt, it was awkward as fook! generally your squadmates would die within the 1st few seconds of battle and cover was basically useless, my tactic was to stand very far away from enemies and shoot them with the sniper rifle. ME2 is a lot better, In fact most of the battles have actually been fun! basically you run to some cover and take cover and then shoot people, your squadmates seem to take care of themselves which is a relief, still the battles keep a sort of exciting actiony pace to them which works well. I particularly enjoyed the "timed" bits where some base is going to explode and you must excitingly battle your way to the exit before it does, I dont think an rpg has ever had that kind of "white knuckle" action in it. Always in games like that the characters are all "hurry!" "quick!!" "let's get out of here fast!" but really you can hang around for an infinite amount of time poking through crates and corpses! Of course mass effect still has this problem on the large scale, youve got to save the universe and all "fast!", but once again you can spend an infinite amount of time poking through various planets and nebulae looking for ore and doing side quests. I think to keep the exciting feeling going through the game as a whole they should implement a calendar and keep track of what day it is so you have a limited amount of time to stop the GIANT EEEVIL this would also be a nice way to force the player to make significant choices as you wouldnt be able to do all the side quests and get all the npc's and unlock all their talents (and extra costumes!) And that brings me neatly to one of the good points. The choices, They dont just have the one big choice between TOTAL EEVIL and good jedi, your constantly making choices all the time, even during cutscenes! they've added this snap-decision mechanic so during a cutscene you can quickly do something good or bad by tapping the left or right mouse button (this is great during the standard "bad guy speech before a boss fight" cutscene, you can for instance hit the mouse button to do something bad, like just shoot him while he's talking! this is great as it makes the boss fights quicker and easier + you know you were going to have to kill him anyway!) also they really try to make the choices seem significant and have impact later on, also the fact the the whole trilogy is consistent with your specific character (you import your character from the end of mass effect one, and will be able to import him again into mass effect 3!) I always play like a good jedi from KOTOR so as well as certain main characters being alive/planets/species existing and such in ME2 as a result of my actions in ME1, I was also pleased to see dozens of little bit part "extra" type characters who I had saved in ME1 turn up and be all like "hey! thanks!" it really enriched the whole experience. Also ME2 is set about 2 years from the end of ME1, which is about the amount of time since I played it so my memory was appropriatley hazy "uh, I saved you from MEGA-ALIENS 2 years ago? really? you made me a thankyou cake? well thanks!"
Now heres something that they have actually disimproved (new word of mine) from ME1 !! Theres a few things they removed (because the majority of gamers (fucking idiots!) really hated them and bioware responded to their popular (idiotic) outcry, it shows good support/feedback on the part of bioware, but they dont need to be total pussies! show some damn leadership bioware!!!) anyway the aspect of the game (which was great in ME1) that they removed was "continuity" basically mass effect is an expansive rpg, you travel all over the shop fixing peoples problems and saving the galaxy from the GIANT EEVIL!! sort of like the A-team, but constantly moving from location to location can leave the experience feeling a bit disjointed, how did they solve this (quite elegantly imo) in ME1? with a few things, 1stly instead of getting a loading screen between different parts of a level you just waited in an elevator, this was good! it provided continuity and consistency, also the radio played in the elevator and your team might make little pithy comments! the important thing is that it didnt "take you out of the game" it was similar when you were entering your ship, there was an airlock you had to go through. Also when exploring a planet you had this tank/moon rover type thing that you would actually explore the surface of the planet with, this was good for a few reasons, the physiscs was really good and made it fun! it was basically the only time you ever got to "explore" in the game, also it had really big guns and you had a few EPIC battles in it, this was important imo because in a game where you save THE WHOLE FUCKING GALAXY its a bit silly to do it all with small 3 man squad based firefights in loading bays! anyway the tank,elevators and airlock provided total continuity. You could fly to a cluster, a specific planet, land on the planet in your tank, drive to the door of the base, get out, and enter the base all without breaking the experience. It is all gone from ME2, what happens now is there are loading screens fecking everywhere, even a synopsis screen when you finish a mission, also when you finish a mission you are magically transported back to your ship, which is magically undocked from the station and positioned in the middle of space, WTF!!?? bioware has bowed to the teeming masses, for shame...
I'll finish on another positive point, one thing they eliminated that I agree with is the whole "inventory" thing... (lets just say it is pared down to an absolute minumum) I really dont miss it! too long have rpg players wallowed in the boring ass wading through of inventories, selling all your shit, making sure everyone has the armour with the extra +5% resistance to ass-goblins etc.
So you dont pick up much stuff in ME2 (its usually just cash) but when you do find something, a new weapon for instance, its really significant and you all like "oooh, lets try it out!!" Also from the get go you can fully customize your characters armour colour/patterning and such, so you can just choose something you like and stick with it, no more worrying about some helmet that may have amazing stats but looks like a penis!

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